World Railways Photograph Catalogue - Restoration & Archiving Trust

The Societe imperiale ottomane du Chemin de fer de Baghdad was formed on 13th April 1903 with Deutsche Bank leading the consortium of financial interests, 40% of which were held by French institutions. Construction work commenced in a south easterly direction from Konya, the end of a CFOA branch from Eskişehir and the first 200km section to Bulgurlu was completed in October 1904. Work then stalled until 1910 when it was started on several sections simultaneously and most of the route as far as Akcakale was opened by July 1914. The first 78 mile section north from Baghdad to Sammarah also opened in the October this year. The remaining section of the original route through Turkey through to Nusaybin including the mountain sections through the Taurus & Amanus ranges were not opened until October 1918, by which time the railhead north from Baghdad had reached Baiji. The section across Syria from Nusaybin to El Yaroubieh was completed in 1935 and the final link from the latter to Baiji was opened on 17th July 1940. Finally in 1961 a new section of line between Narli and Karkamis allowed traffic on the Baghdad line to remain within Turkey between Fevzipaşa & Karkamis rather than running south into Syria towards Aleppo.

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